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S. Kaur, J. Tay-Lim

The National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (SINGAPORE)
This paper explores the use of virtual platforms to showcase authentic classroom practices in pre-service teacher training. The current study sought to optimise collaborative learning opportunities as well as provide pre-service teachers with greater insights into how ‘real’ classrooms of diverse learners can be effectively taught and managed. Video recording of actual classroom sessions along with face-to-face teacher interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in two Singapore Primary Schools. The study is part of a larger project to study best practices in teaching and learning in mainstream primary classrooms. Experienced teachers were invited to showcase their classroom sessions and verbalise their thoughts on teaching and managing diverse learners as a means to Teach-the-Teacher. The essential need to maintain various modes of effective lesson delivery to best accommodate the needs and preferences of our learners created an educational resource with great potential. The online portal and mobile videos platforms available in the university were tapped on to optimise learning whilst providing a wider span of reach as relevant uploaded data from the study were accessible anytime, anywhere. Collaborative learning opportunities were created as the videos, positioned as points for discussion during a core teacher-training module, enhanced a 100% participatory learning environment. As educators who are constantly seeking new ways to better engage their learners, virtual platforms were utilised optimally to showcase practical, current and most importantly authentic practices nested within the local Singaporean mainstream educational context, in a pursuit to better prepare our pre-service teachers to be good educators themselves.